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German poet Rainer Maria Rilke belongs to the great minds of European literature and lyricism. He grew up an only child, his older sister having died only a week after his mother gave birth to her. She tried to cope with that pain by dressing young René (he would change his name later) as a girl. His history, and the gender ambiguity of the name, was one of the reasons the band Rainer Maria was inspired by. 

Caithlin De Marrais, Kaia Fischer and William Kuehn formed Rainer Maria in 1995 in Wisconsin, after having booked and promoted punk rock and indie shows in the area. After releasing several records they broke up in 2006. Another parallel to the German poet - Rilke suffered from severe writers block over several years. Thankfully, for the poet as for the band they got back on the road. 

“Lower Worlds” is a cut from Rainer Maria’s latest full-length record, a steaming, driving force. A heavy guitar lick invites us in, joined by a marching rhythm section and De Marrais demanding vocals. “Will you be mine?,” she asks, over and over again, punctuating her words like like a judge’s hammer in court. The intrepid screams of “Slam shut the doors” return over and over as the chorus, giving the single a fierce intensity, deriving from their original emo rock roots and borrowing from Krautrock legends like Can. 

Rainer Maria belongs to the generation of legends like L7, Bikini Kill and many others from the DYI scene. Their sound has evolved over the hiatus of eight years into this massive hybrid of indie, punk and something new entirely. Old fans will love it just as much as the new ones.

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About the curator - Julia Maehner

Julia Maehner - Music to Curator

Julia knows two main passions: Music and writing. From an early age she has been making music after a fashion. When she was 13, she sat herself down and decided: “I will be a music journalist. Because I love music and writing.” After a brief intermezzo in New York City working for the music boutique agency Girlie Action as a digital marketer, she moved back to Germany. This experience helped her build her know-how for her content marketing client, the business intelligence software CoffeeCup. She still writes for several German music and tech magazines and is working on launching her own blog, amps on ears.

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